Friday, November 29, 2013

"Sing a merry madrigal!"

Yet until the shadows fall
over one and over all,
sing a merry madrigal!

by Ken

I'm not going to identify tonight's madrigal tonight, but I also haven't attempted to conceal its identity. I mean, I could have identified Yum-Yum as "Lady 1" or "Bride" and Nanki-Poo as "Man 1" or "Bridegroom" and so on. Obviously those of you who know the music will know that there's a joke built into it, but for tonight I don't want to think about the joke; I just want to focus on the beauty of the piece.

Madrigal, "Brightly dawns our wedding day"

YUM-YUM: Brightly dawns our wedding day.
YUM-YUM, PITTI-SING, NANKI-POO, and PISH-TUSH [GO-TO]:
 Joyous hour, we give thee greeting!
Whither, whither art thou fleeting?
Fickle moment, prithee stay!
Fickle moment, prithee stay!
PISH-TUSH [or GO-TO]: What though mortal joys be hollow?
PITTI-SING: Pleasures come, if sorrows follow:
YUM-YUM, PITTI-SING, NANKI-POO, and PISH-TUSH [GO-TO]:
 Though the tocsin sound, ere long,
ding dong!
Ding dong!
Yet until the shadows fall
over one and over all,
YUM-YUM: Sing a merry madrigal!
YUM-YUM, PITTI-SING, NANKI-POO, and PISH-TUSH [GO-TO]:
 Sing a merry madrigal,
sing a merry madrigal:
Fa la,
fa la la la la la la.

YUM-YUM: Let us dry the ready tear,
YUM-YUM, PITTI-SING, NANKI-POO, and PISH-TUSH [GO-TO]: Though the hours are surely creeping,
little need for woeful weeping,
till the sad sundown is near,
till the sad sundown is near.
PISH-TUSH [or GO-TO]: All must sip the cup of sorrow --
PITTI-SING: I today, and thou tomorrow
YUM-YUM, PITTI-SING, NANKI-POO, and PISH-TUSH [GO-TO]:
 This the close of ev'ry song,
ding dong!
Ding dong!
What though solemn shadows fall,
sooner, later, over all,
YUM-YUM: Sing a merry madrigal!
YUM-YUM, PITTI-SING, NANKI-POO, and PISH-TUSH [GO-TO]: Sing a merry madrigal,
sing a merry madrigal:
Fa la,
fa la la la la la la.
[Ending in tears]

Jean Hindmarsh (s), Yum-Yum; Beryl Dixon (ms), Pitti-Sing; Thomas Round (t), Nanki-Poo; Owen Grundy (bs), Go-To; New Symphony Orchestra of London, Isidore Godfrey, cond. Decca, recorded October 1957

Elizabeth Harwood (s), Yum-Yum; Barbara Elsy (ms), Pitti-Sing; Edward Darling (t), Nanki-Poo; Ian Humphris (b), Pish-Tush; Westminster Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Faris, cond. EMI, recorded 1961

Valerie Masterson (s), Yum-Yum; Peggy Ann Jones (ms), Pitti-Sing; Colin Wright (t), Nanki-Poo; John Broad (bs), Go-To; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royston Nash, cond. Decca, recorded Jan. 10-15, 1973

Marie McLaughlin (s), Yum-Yum; Anne Howells (ms), Pitti-Sing; Anthony Rolfe Johnson (t), Nanki-Poo; Nicholas Folwell (bs-b), Pish-Tush; Welsh National Opera Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras, cond. Telarc, recorded Sept. 2-4, 1991


IN THIS WEEK'S SUNDAY CLASSICS POST

We'll clear up any lingering mysteries about "Brightly dawns our wedding day" and hear another madrigal from the same source, more or less, and hear some other vocal ensembles from (again) the same source, more or less.
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